Handsome Buddy Boeheim’s face on a limited-edition Sweet 16 doughnut? Classic.
Grouchy dad Jim’s vintage-’70s mug from the Syracuse sideline taking its place after the NCAA vetoed the original idea?
As the kids say: Ew, gross.
“We’re just as excited as everyone else about the team,” Glazed & Confused shop owner Paul Valenti told The Post-Standard in Syracuse. “But we don’t want to get anyone in trouble over some doughnuts.”
Good thinking. After all, five years ago the program had to vacate 101 of the elder Boeheim’s victories due to an overzealous academic support staff and a $300 speaking fee one of his players received from the Oneida YMCA before returning it.
So, rather than celebrate Buddy Buckets’ 55-point scoring frenzy through early-round wins over San Diego State and West Virginia, Glazed & Confused will instead settle for a sugar wafer concoction bearing Jim Boeheim’s throwback likeness — thick glasses, plaid jacket, matted brown hair and trademark quizzical expression.
What a letdown for those who wake up early for Saturday’s 8 a.m. rollout of the 500-doughnut batch — first-come, first-served, with pre-orders strictly prohibited. Another 500 doughnuts will be decorated with a tiny basketball swishing through a white frosting net atop a blue background.
Proceeds reportedly will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Syracuse, but the NCAA made certain to drain all the joy out of the timely brainstorm once it got a little publicity. You know, because why start using common sense now?
Name, image and likeness legislation continues to make its way through various statehouses, but we’re still seemingly years away from student-athletes being immortalized via high-calorie breakfast foods.
Not even the Twitter hashtag of #buddybuckets passed muster when Valenti called Syracuse University officials on Wednesday to solicit their approval.
“They basically said no, we can’t use Buddy or his name, because he’s a student and a player,” Valenti told Syracuse.com. “They said Jim’s fair, but Buddy’s not fair.”
So while Michigan’s injured Isaiah Livers wears a #NotNCAAProperty T-shirt as he cheers on his Wolverine teammates from the sideline, there figures to be even more talk than there otherwise would have been about the novelty snack that wasn’t when 11th-seeded Syracuse meets No. 2 seed Houston on Saturday night.
Building the brand of a millionaire coach with 45 years (and counting) in his current role at his alma mater? Sure, why not?
Slapping the mug of his volume-shooting son on a tasty treat with proceeds going to charity? Unacceptable!
March Madness, indeed.